Great British Chancellor
Prue Leith – writer, restaurateur, cookery expert and judge on the hit BBC TV show Great British Menu – has been appointed as the new chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
Prue was nominated for the role of chancellor given the affinity of her interests and experience with the university’s expertise in food and drink, sustainable business, and creativity and culture, and well as one of its key values of social responsibility.
The new chancellor built a business from scratch in the 1960s which grew to become Leith’s Good Food, the party and event caterer. In 1969, she opened Leith’s, her famous Michelin-starred restaurant, and in 1975, founded Leith’s School of Food and Wine which trains professional chefs and amateur cooks. The group reached a turnover of £15m in 1993, when she sold out all but the restaurant, which she went on to sell in 1995.
Having been involved with the Great British Menu from the first screening in 2006, Prue is a regular on our television screens where she is mainly seen putting the country’s top chefs under severe scrutiny in a bid to identify Britain’s finest dishes and its top culinary talent.
Prue has received 11 honorary degrees or fellowships from UK universities and she was appointed an OBE in 1989 and a CBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours list.
Her role at Queen Margaret University is essentially a ceremonial one that she will juggle with a busy family life and writing.
Prue said: “Following the wonderful Tom Farmer will not be easy, but I look forward to it. I much admire the way QMU has consistently regarded food, nutrition and health as practical and socially important, as well as academic, subjects. And I love the enthusiasm and can-do attitude of students. So I know it will be interesting and fun. And I hope I will be useful.”
Prue will take over the role of chancellor from entrepreneur Sir Tom Farmer, who was installed as the university’s founding chancellor in 2007 when the institution was awarded university title.